SEVERAL ROAD ACCIDENTS in Moray have proven to be a tragic reminder of the need for greater road safety awareness in the region.
Throughout last week regional MSP and road safety campaigner David Stewart MSP underlined the Road Safety Week message – alas, for Moray it was a dreadful end to the week with one 21-year-old motor cyclist being killed near Burghead, a ten-year-old girl being airlifted to hospital from Elgin and several other injuries on our roads.
As the week came to a close Mr Stewart again issued a reminder of the dangers in particular at this time of year when dark nights arrive early and road conditions can be treacherous. He said: “Obviously the distance you can see ahead in terms of the far, middle and near distance utilised in daytime driving, is restricted to an area ahead of the driver in the near distance only at night time.
“Because you can only see in the near distance, you therefore have to be aware that hazards can often seem to appear out of nowhere.
“All road users have to be alert to the issue of visibility. Pedestrians should wear bright or reflective clothes, cyclists should do likewise and make sure they have front and rear lights displayed and drivers should be alert to the possibility of other road users just appearing into their line of vision and sight.”
Mr Stewart reminded drivers that it was more difficult to judge speed and distance meaning that objects can appear closer than they are, or other vehicles may be travelling faster than expected and in a different direction.
He added: “Young drivers who have not built up experience of night time driving are especially more susceptible to collisions at night so extra care should be taken. Even many experienced drivers do not feel comfortable driving at night.
“The hours of darkness are when your body is preparing to sleep, especially after a hard day at work and tiredness can set in quickly, although usually with warning signs. Driver fatigue and tiredness remains a large cause of fatalities on the night time roads.
“40% of collision occur at night across the UK and 20% occur as a result of the driver falling asleep – so please remember, Drive safely at night – Be mindful of your restricted sight.”